"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Strangler Mugger on Trial in Battersea

A disturbing new trend has been noticed in parts of London - violent young muggers who overcome their victims by strangling them until they pass out.

As one gang await sentencing after being convicted, the trial of another has begun in Battersea:

A man accused of a series of terrifying attacks where women were strangled unconscious before being robbed has appeared in court.

He is accused of attacking eight lone women in the Battersea area, using the cover of darkness to approach from behind before grabbing them by the throat.

As they lay unconscious the attacker stole their handbags and ran off before the women stirred, the court heard.

At Kingston Crown Court on Monday, Temman Dias, 25, of Parkham Street, Battersea, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of choking, suffocating or strangling with intent and eight counts of robbery.

A 16-year-old boy from Mitcham, who cannot be named, also pleaded not guilty to being involved in the last attack.

The attacks, all carried out between August 2007 and October 2008, targeted lone women in the Battersea area.

Prosecutor Ken Millett said the first victim was walking through Inworth Street, on her way to work, when she was attacked at 5.40am on August 23, 2007.

“She felt an arm on her neck from behind and her neck being squeezed tightly,” he said.

“She was then dragged backwards into a closed alley, all the time being unable to breathe.”

She tried to make a noise, but the next thing she remembered was waking up, Mr Millett said.

The woman, who eventually managed to ring the doorbell of a house, suffered a bloodshot eye and bad bruising to her neck.

Mr Millett said: “The injuries also suggest the attacker stamped on her face.”

A woman was left on crutches after her leg was stamped on following the second attack, in Cabul Road at 6.45pm on February 24, 2008.

In another incident a woman, who after returning home from meeting friends had to get out of a black taxi early because she did not have the full fare, was attacked at 2.15am on February 24, 2008, near Falcon Park.

Mr Millett said: “Because of the striking similarities and the nature of these robberies we suggest it was the same person in each case.

“Strangulation was a feature of these attacks. Attacks which stopped after Temman Dias was arrested.”

Police raided the home of Dias hours after the last attack on October 3, 2008.

On a bed where he and a 16-year-old were resting, police found property belonging to some of the victims.

Other evidence from the attacks was found on a roof adjacent to the house.

Mr Millett said records showed a phone from one of the victims was used by Dias six minutes after she had been attacked.

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